Chevron and BP back renewable start-up focused on geothermal energy

Evor-Lite site.

Source: Eavor Technologies

Canada-based geothermal company Eavor Technologies on Tuesday announced a $40 million funding round that included participation from BP Ventures and Chevron Technology Ventures as big oil companies increase investments in renewable energy.

Geothermal power is renewable energy produced from underground heat. The U.S. Department of Energy calls geothermal a “vital clean energy resource,” noting that it emits little to zero greenhouse gases. While adoption rates differ from country to country, on the whole geothermal remains a nascent energy source.

With its new capital, Eavor is looking to commercialize its technology and scale its project pipeline. The company said the on-demand nature of its energy means it can act as a baseload power provider — that is, it can power the electric grid round the clock.

Coal and natural gas aren’t clean energy sources, while solar and wind are intermittent power providers.

The company’s proprietary technology targets issues that have hindered geothermal’s widescale adoption, including eliminating the need for volcanic temperatures and highly permeable aquifers.

The investment by the venture capital arms of BP and Chevron come as big oil companies increasingly look to diversify their portfolios.

“We see Eavor’s potential to be complementary to our growing wind and solar portfolios. Our expertise and experience also makes BP well equipped to support Eavor’s growth,” Felipe Arbelaez, senior vice president zero carbon energy at BP, said in a statement.

Other backers include Temasek, BDC Capital, Eversource and Vickers Venture Partners. Eavor is aiming to power the equivalent of 10 million homes by 2030.

“The involvement of companies such as BP and Chevron represents a fantastic endorsement of our technology, the progress we have made to date and the promise for its global scalability,” Eavor president and CEO John Redfern said in a statement.

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